Grieve Families

Rousay Grieves

It is thought that the Grieve families in Rousay had their origins in the neighbouring island of Egilsay.  Existing records show that this was true of some families at least.  Most of the Grieve families who appear in the 19th century censuses were descended from Robert Grieve born c 1791 and his wife Ann Work who married in 1812 who lived at the croft of Outerdykes and later at the croft of Whiteha.  They had a son, Robert born in 1822, who married Isabella Leonard of Digro, whose son William, 1850-1941, married Christina Craigie from Fa'doon.                     


William Grieve (1850-1941) of Fa'doon, Rousay and his wife Christina Craigie with their younger children. Standing back row: L to R: Isabella, Mary Ann, and Hannah. Front row: Hugh and James.

(Photo - Inga Gibb)


Four generations. G-grandmother Christina (Craigie) Grieve, her son Robert Grieve, her granddaughter Mabel (Grieve) Gillespie, and g-granddaughter Beryl (Gillespie) Simpson  in 1951   Betsy Craigie (ms Sinclair) with her daughter Christina Craigie who married William Grieve (1850-1951)

(Photo - Beryl Simpson)


(Photo - Inga Gibb)




James Grieve b. 1856, a brother of William Grieve of Fa'doon, Rousay spent most of his life on the island of Sanday, Orkney where he has numerous descendants.

(Photo - Inga Gibb)


William Grieve of Outerdykes, 1828-1913, was another son of William and Ann mentioned in the opening paragraph above.  He married Jane Flett and emigrated to Australia where they raised a large family.  Consequently there are many descendants spread throughout Australia including Ian Grieve and Allen Grieve.


William Grieve, 1828-1913, and his wife Jane Flett  They emigrated to Australia


Robert Grieve, b 1822, with his wife Isabella Leonard and their children James, Isabella, Peter. Robert was a brother of William Grieve (left)           

(Photos - Tommy Gibson,  Rousay)

Mary Grieve, 1857-1934, daughter of William Grieve and Jane Flett above, who was born on the voyage to Australia. James Grieve, 1861-1927, son of William Grieve and Jane Flett above, and his wife Mary McIntyre.  

(Photos - David Grieve, Melbourne, gg-grandson of William Grieve & Jane Flett)





William Grieve, 1859-1940, and his wife Susannah Bath, born 1859. William was the eldest son of William Grieve & Jane Flett


Colin William Grieve, 1888-1952, and his wife Alexandra McLean, 1889-1973, the parents of Ian Grieve below. Colin was the eldest son of William Grieve & Susannah Bath (left)

(Photos - Ian Grieve, g-grandson of William Grieve & Jane Flett)



Alick Grieve, 1872-1951, son of William Grieve & Jane Flett, his wife Bertha Gillies with sons Russell, Arthur, Harold, Norman and Walter

(Photo - David Grieve, Melbourne, gg-grandson of William Grieve & Jane Flett)

 Jane Grieve, 1864-1938, daughter of William Grieve & Jane Flett, with daughter Alice

 (Photo - David Grieve, Melbourne, gg-grandson of William Grieve & Jane Flett)


 Helen Grieve, 1867-1942, daughter of William Grieve & Jane Flett

(Photo  - David Grieve, Melbourne, gg-grandson of William Grieve & Jane Flett)



Ian Grieve beside the cairn marking the graves of his g-grandparents William Grieve and Jane Flett

William Grieve and his wife Jane Flett were buried on the land on which they had settled when they came to Australia.  It is sited in hill country south-west of Walcha in the New England district of New South Wales.  In the mid-1900s their homestead was incorporated into a large sheep station.  A stockman working there discovered the grave in the early 1990s hidden beneath blackberry bushes.  The station manager let the discovery be known in the township of Walcha and soon thereafter a cairn was erected over the grave by a descendant Keith Grieve and his sons.  They fixed to the two largest stones of the cairn a laminated photo of the old couple on one and a short story of their background on the other.  A protective barrier against cattle was erected around the site.  It also helps to mark it out in the bush country and since completion many groups of descendants have made pilgrimages to the site which lies about fifty miles from Walcha and about three miles off the road up a steep hillside.

(Photo and text by courtesy of Ian Grieve)



Egilsay Grieves

One of the Egilsay Grieves that has been traced is James Grieve, a Navy Pensioner, who was born in Egilsay c1776.  He married Elizabeth Davie and they had three sons and three daughters.  Their son Alexander married Margaret Harrold and they too had three sons, one of whom was Alexander Grieve.  He was born in 1857 and died, unmarried, in 1945.

 The elest son of James Grieve and Elizabeth Davie was James born in 1815.  He married Margaret Craigie in 1845 and their eldest daughter Jean married Duncan McLean who hailed from Ross-shire, coming to Rousay to build roads.

James Grieve, born in 1852, son of James Grieve and Margaret Craigie married Isabella Alexander from Egilsay.


Alexander Grieve of Nethermill, 1857-1945  (See)                    


Duncan McLean with his wife Jean Grieve, 1846-1924, and their children (l-r) Kenneth, Maggie-Ann and John.


 (Photos - Tommy Gibson, Rousay)

Another Grieve family lived at Howe in Egilsay. Its earliest traceable ancestor was Alexander Grieve b. c1785 who married Katherine Craigie.  Their son James B.Grieve b. 1830 married Margaret Gibson of Langskaill. There are numerous descendants.

James B Grieve of Howe, Egilsay, born 1830, with his wife Margaret Gibson                 

(Photo - Tommy Gibson, Rousay)   

 James Grieve, 1852-1932, of Outerdykes, Rousay with his wife Isabella Alexander from Egilsay. (See)

 (Photo- Tommy Gibson, Rousay)